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Biden Has Few Options to Enact Abortion Moves Democrats Demand

  • Democrats urge president to use authority to expand access
  • Legal, political obstacles stand in way of most actions
President Joe Biden during the SelectUSA Investment Summit in National Harbor, Maryland, on June 27.

President Joe Biden during the SelectUSA Investment Summit in National Harbor, Maryland, on June 27.

Photographer: Ting Shen/Bloomberg

President Joe Biden is under pressure from progressive Democrats to safeguard access to abortion in states where it’s at risk of being outlawed -- including by allowing clinics on federal land and offering travel vouchers to people who want the procedure.

Yet Biden faces steep legal and political hurdles in meeting those demands as his administration struggles in its response to last week’s Supreme Court decision overturning the landmark Roe v. Wade precedent. The frustration among Democrats was on display Tuesday as Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra announced an initiative to assure availability of abortion medication.